By Rebecca Hogue Wojahn
Welcome to a Caribbean coral reef! As you snorkel simply offshore, you spot terrific fish, waving sea anemones, diving turtles - perhaps even a prowling barracuda! The coral reef is stuffed with lifestyles - from coral polyps snagging plankton to a moray eel gobbling up a goby fish. Day and evening at the coral reef, the search is directly to locate nutrition - and to prevent turning into somebody else's subsequent meal. All residing issues are attached to each other in a meals chain, from animal to animal, animal to plant, and plant to animal. What direction will you're taking to stick to the nutrition chain throughout the coral reef? Will you . . . Tail a tiger shark because it sniffs out its subsequent sufferer? try out a stingray crushing clams? Watch a feathery fan bug capture bits of leftovers? stick with all 3 chains and plenty of extra in this who-eats-what event!
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Extra resources for A Coral Reef Food Chain: A Who-Eats-What Adventure in the Caribbean Sea
Such as the smalltooth sawfish at Queen Parrot Fish 34 (Scarus vetula) Crunch! Crunch! The queen parrot fish can be heard yards away as he scrapes at the coral with his beaklike teeth. He breaks off a piece and swallows it down. He doesn’t really want the coral, though. What he’s really after are the algae and sponges inside and on it. Once he swallows the hard parts, the bits of coral and rocks are ground up into tiny sandy bits inside of him. Then he digests the algae and gets rid of the sand.
A long-horn nudibranch. To see what To see what o page 18 . to are up to, tu rn another nudibranch is up to, turn to page 28. . a banded coral shrimp, injured by a barracuda. To see what another shrimp is up to, turn to page 52. . some coral polyps. To see what a group of coral polpys is like, tur n to page 44 . . a foureye butterflyfish that got too close. To see what another butterflyfish is up to, turn to page 12. . coral it was cling ing to. To see what a group of coral is like, tu rn to page 46 .
It may be hard to see the sea urchin move, but it’s nearly impossible to see her eat. Her mouth is at the bottom of her body. Behind her mouth is a chewing organ called an Aristotle’s lantern. It’s an opening ringed by sharp teeth and bones that gnaw and grind at the coral to get at the algae, sponges, and any other creatures the urchin happens to find. Last night for dinner, the urchin ground up . . Fo od Ch ai n An Im po rt an t Li nk in th e cie s of the reefs. That d a keystone spe The black sea urchin is considere t the so important to the coral reef tha means that black sea urchins are s in t them.